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ASHRAE (sometimes pronounced ash-ray), stands for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Founded in 1894, it is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 50,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability.
The ASHRAE Handbook is a four-volume resource for HVAC&R technology and is available in both print and electronic versions. The volumes are Fundamentals, HVAC Applications, HVAC Systems and Equipment, and Refrigeration. One of the four volumes is updated each year.
ASHRAE also publishes a well recognized series of standards and guidelines relating to HVAC systems and issues. These standards are often referenced in building codes, and are considered useful standards for use by consulting engineers, mechanical contractors, architects, and government agencies. These are legally unenforceable, except when referenced as mandatory provisions in building codes, but are commonly accepted standards for architects and engineers.
Examples of some ASHRAE Standards are:
- Standard 34 – Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants
- Standard 55 – Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy
- Standard 62.1 – Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality (versions: 2001 and earlier as "62", 2004 and beyond as "62.1")
- Standard 62.2 – Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings
- Standard 90.1 – Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings – The IESNA is a joint sponsor of this standard.
- Standard 135 – BACnet - A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks
- Standard 189.1 – Standard for the Design of High Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
These, and many other ASHRAE Standards, are periodically reviewed, revised and published, so the year of publication of a particular standard is important for code compliance.
The ASHRAE Journal is a monthly magazine published by ASHRAE. It includes peer-reviewed articles on the practical application of HVAC&R technology, information on upcoming meetings and product shows, classified and display advertising, and editorials. www.ashrae.org/ashraejournal. Members of ASHRAE receive the magazine and the current year's volume of the ASHRAE Handbook as membership benefits.
ASHRAE also publishes High Performing Buildings Magazine – a quarterly magazine is read by building owners, facility managers, architects and engineers who work on sustainable and efficient building projects. Each issue features case studies of the best performing buildings in the world. The authors, all of whom worked on the project, cover the benefits of the building’s innovative technologies and measured performance. What sets HPB apart is that all case studies provide at least one year’s worth of operational data to show if the building is performing at expected levels. http://www.hpbmagazine.org/
ASHRAE also publishes many books, ASHRAE Transactions, and the International Journal of HVAC&R Research.
ASHRAE was founded in 1894 at a meeting of engineers in New York City, formerly headquartered at 345 East 47th Street, and has held an annual meeting since 1895. Until 1954 it was known as the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHVE); in that year it changed its name to the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE). Its current name and organization came from the 1959 merger of ASHAE and the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE). The result, ASHRAE, despite having 'American' in its name, is an influential international organization. Amongst other international activities, it helps organize international events.
ASHRAE supported the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014 (H.R. 4092; 113th Congress), a bill that would require the United States Department of Energy to establish a centralized clearinghouse to disseminate information on federal programs, incentives, and mechanisms for financing energy-efficient retrofits and upgrades at schools.
To “walk the talk” and demonstrate the Society’s commitment to sustainability, ASHRAE renovated its existing headquarters building in Atlanta, Ga. When the project was completed in June 2008, ASHRAE had succeeded in creating a healthy, productive facility that will serve as a sustainable showcase for years to come.
After the renovation and occupancy, the building has received an A- (Very Good) As Designed rating and an A- (Very Good) As Operated rating from ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program.
The building received an ENERGY STAR rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2012 with a score of 95. The current site energy use intensity (EUI) is 35.8 kBtu/Sqft (411 MJ/m2). The EUI is a 60 percent reduction from the pre-renovation value of 81.9 kBtu/Sqft (941 MJ/m2) when the building had an ENERGY STAR rating of 36.
ASHRAE also was awarded Platinum Certification under the New Construction Version 2.2 rating system from USGBC’s LEED program. ASHRAE earned 54 points of an attempted 55, with 69 points possible.
Sustainable measures include reduced annual energy usage through use of a dedicated outdoor air supply (DOAS) system with energy recovery and humidity control for building ventilation; a ground-source heat pump system (GSHP) serving the second floor; and variable refrigerant flow systems with heat recovery serving the first floor. A 52.3 percent reduction in water consumption was achieved by using low-flow fixtures and waterless urinals in the building and by eliminating an outdoor irrigation system and chiller. The overall energy savings were achieved even though outside air delivered to each space was increased by 30 percent beyond minimum rates specified in ASHRAE’s Standard 62.1.
In keeping with ASHRAE’s commitment to science and education, our headquarters building now serves as a “living lab,” offering researchers the opportunity to use the building as a live case study. A Web-based user interface allows researchers around the world to extract more than 1,300 trended points of data from a working building to study factors such as energy use and electric power demand, water consumption and indoor air quality. 
- The ASHRAE Handbook
- Building services engineering
- Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
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